4:05 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Endangered Salmon Migrate Via Trucks Around Cracked Dam

At Priest Rapids Dam workers practice transporting salmon in trucks. They'll have to transport hundreds of fish a day so the salmon can get past the lowered water and several dams.
Anna King Northwest News Network

The Columbia River will remain drawn down at least until June because of the cracked Wanapum Dam in southeast Washington.

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Columbia River
5:00 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Fish Experts Plan A Salmon Water Slide On Cracked Wanapum Dam

File photo of the fish ladder at John Day Dam on the Columbia River. The fish ladders at the Wanapum and the Rock Island dams are dry.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:24 pm

The ongoing issue with the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is now creating a problem for migrating salmon.

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9:56 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Tribes Push To Restore Salmon To Upper Columbia River

A pre-conference tour of Grand Coulee Dam on Monday kicked off a conversation about restoring salmon to the Upper Columbia Basin.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:00 pm

Once upon a time, salmon and steelhead swam over a thousand miles upriver to the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, at the foot of the Rockies in British Columbia.

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4:33 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

New Plan To Protect Salmon Doesn’t Consider Breaching Dams

Credit Pacific Northwest National Lab / Flickr Creative Commons

The federal government's management plan for protecting salmon and steelhead killed by federal dams in the Columbia River basin differs little from its earlier version and continues to rely heavily on habitat improvement. 

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5:34 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Stormy Weather Could Pose Challenges For Idaho Firefighters

A handcrew member works on the perimeter of the Pine Creek Fire northeast of Boise.
Credit U.S. Forest Service

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning Tuesday afternoon for the Boise National Forest and parts of the Payette National Forest. Dry and windy conditions could make firefighting efforts in those areas difficult and could spark new flames there's lighting. 

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Klamath Dams
3:10 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Pacificorp Offers To Draw Down Reservoirs to Alleviate Oregon's Klamath River Water Shortage

Power Company PacifiCorp has offered to draw down two of its reservoirs on the Klamath River this summer to try to help ranchers facing a water shutoff in Oregon’s Klamath basin.

Upper Klamath lake is like a giant reservoir at the top of the Klamath River.  The bureau of reclamation balances how much water stays in the lake, how is much is diverted for irrigation, and how much is released down the Klamath River to keep migrating salmon cool.

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Columbia River
11:00 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Tribal-Owned Retail Fish Shop Set To Open On Columbia River

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:28 pm

For thousands of years, Northwest tribes have used the Columbia River as a regional center of commerce. For the first time this summer, they’re building a new venue for their ancient tradition – a native-owned seafood shop.

Fresh catch

A silvery shad slips into an icy bath. Its tail flashes twice as it descends deeper into the chilly water. The fish was netted from the Columbia just moments ago. It’s so fresh it’s still kicking.

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8:12 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Northwest Tribes Maximize Steelhead Populations

Credit Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Steelhead in the Columbia River Basin are threatened. Current populations have dwindled to a fraction of the historic numbers a century ago. That has led two Northwest Indian Tribes to try something new to help this struggling fish survive.  Both tribes are learning from each other along the way.

The snow is almost gone in north Idaho. But it’s still cold, almost freezing on this early morning at the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery near Orofino.

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7:46 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Supreme Court Lets Limits On River Mining Stand

Credit Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday makes it harder for miners to gain access to Northwest rivers. Environmental groups hailed the decision as a major victory.

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12:01 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Study: Salmon Use Earth's Magnetic Field To Navigate Home

Credit EarthFix

During the course of their lives some salmon travel thousands of miles - out to the open ocean to feed and mature. Then, after a few years, they head back to the exact river where they hatched, to spawn the next generation. Scientists don’t fully understand how salmon find their way home, but a new study might provide some more answers.

The answer is magnets - according to a new study in the journal Current Biology.

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2:05 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Seven Southern Oregon Fisheries Biologists Allege Censorship, Coercion

Seven fish biologists working in Southern Oregon filed a scientific misconduct complaint yesterday. They say the Bureau of Reclamation plans to disband their team because their studies were unpopular.

Four different federal agencies are all working to save threatened salmon and endangered suckerfish that live in the Klamath river and Klamath lake.

Biologists with the Bureau of Reclamation say some of their fish studies had unusual results.

In one example, they found a population of endangered suckerfish in a part of the river other agencies considered a dead zone.

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9:51 am
Wed January 2, 2013

NOAA Hopes to Foster Ideas and Future Collaboration

Credit Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Environmentalists, farmers and irrigators could play a bigger role in creating long term management policies for Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead. The government has asked two university programs in Oregon and Washington to act as mediators over the next six months, talking with more than 200 organizations, states and tribes in order to find a better way of managing fish.

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School Buildings
9:54 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Inspectors To Review 2 Salmon School Buildings

Salmon Middle School

A state committee will move forward with inspecting two Salmon schools to determine whether a state fund can be tapped to repair or rebuild the schools. 

Salmon School District 291 is looking for new revenue after local voters have rejected seven separate bond levies since 2005.

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Salmon Recovery
9:15 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Feds Give Stakeholders Bigger Salmon Recovery Role

Federally listed Sockeye salmon swim the final leg of the journey to Redfish Lake in central Idaho.
Credit Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Environmentalists, irrigators, and other stakeholders in the Northwest are being offered an expanded role in shaping the long-term recovery plan for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries is the federal agency in charge of salmon recovery in the Columbia and Snake rivers. The agency Tuesday sent letters to hundreds of stakeholders in the Northwest. It invites them to provide input on the plan it is working on to restore salmon and steelhead populations.

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9:38 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Working For Idaho's Extinct Coho Salmon

Nez Perce fishery employees work through Coho at the Lapwai Creek weir.
Credit Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

The Northwest’s declining salmon runs have spurred marathon legal battles and inspired billions in spending to save the iconic species.

But Idaho’s coho salmon were never listed as endangered before they went extinct in 1987. Few people noticed when the fish were gone. But the Nez Perce Indian tribe did. And thanks to its extraordinary efforts, coho are once again returning by the thousands to Idaho waters.

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9:51 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Salmon the Focus of Northwest Rivers Initiative

Gold mining operations hurt salmon habitat on Idaho's Yankee Fork. A collaboration is now making the river more fish-friendly.
Credit Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Dams, agriculture, urban development -- they’ve all contributed to the loss of quality habitat for Northwest salmon.  Old time gold mining in one Idaho river has also left problems behind for salmon and steelhead.

The Salmon River is one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the Pacific Northwest. The mountains, clean water and abundant fish and wildlife have attracted hundreds of people like Jerry Meyers, who calls this place home.

Jerry Meyers is an outfitter - guiding summer visitors down the Salmon River in search of a good fishing hole.

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Columbia River
2:33 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Sea Lions At Bonneville Dam Kill Estimated 2,500 Sturgeon

Travis S. Flickr

Biologists say the sea lions that scoop up fish at the foot of Bonneville dam on the Columbia river have killed more sturgeon this year than salmon.

Two different species of sea lions like to feast at Bonneville.  California sea lions only eat salmon.  But Stellar sea lions arrive earlier in the year. While they wait for the spring salmon run to start, they snack on sturgeon.

Biologists with the Army Corps of Engineers estimate that this year, the Stellar sea lions ate about 2,500 sturgeon.

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12:55 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Agencies Release Annual Salmon Report

Aaron Kunz EarthFix

Federal agencies Friday delivered a mixed report card on their efforts to recover endangered salmon in the Columbia River.

The report was delivered to federal judge Michael Simon in Portland. He is overseeing the legal case involving salmon and dams along the Columbia. The Bonneville Power Administration says this year's report shows some improvement in returning adult salmon and steelhead numbers. In 2011, the number of adult salmon migrating past the Bonneville Dam was the fourth highest since 1938.

Salmon gets rain
3:41 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Rain Brings Some Breathing Relief in Salmon

Smoke over the Salmon River on September 20th.
Credit Beale Monday / Salmon-Challis National Forest

Salmon has seen some of the worst air quality in Idaho this year.  This month, the town has had several “purple” or very unhealthy air quality days.  The Mustang Complex fire is still burning mostly uncontained near the mountain town.  Smoke from the blaze has plagued the area for weeks.   

But a trace of rain over the weekend and into Monday has given residents of Salmon some much-needed fresh air.

“We’ve never been so happy to see rain in I don’t know how long," says Salmon Public Library employee Anne Schwartz. "So we are thanking God for sure.”

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4:07 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Idaho Black Bear Recovering From Wildfire

The cub black bear rests quietly after having its burned feet bandaged.
Evin Oneale Idaho Department of Fish and Game

The black bear cub - known as Boo Boo - is expected to make a full recovery. The bear was burned in the Mustang Fire north of Salmon. 

Boo Boo could be ready to leave the Idaho Humane Society, where he’s been recovering from his burns, in as little as two weeks.  The three-to-four month old cub has 2nd degree burns on all four of his paws. 

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